Pick and Roll: Thunder 119 Warriors 116

That’s the beauty of Mike D’Antoni’s system… there’s so much space, so much creativity… you just be aggressive, you just attack. — Jeremy Lin

You finally got to see it tonight.  Finally, after more than a year of a rookie GM adding the wrong pieces to the great Warriors core, and rookie coaches running the wrong plays, with the wrong lineups, in the wrong systems.

You saw it tonight, finally. The reason why David Lee was an all-star for Mike D’Antoni. The reason why Don Nelson traded for David Lee.    

David Lee At Center.

The Pick and Roll. The High Post.

The Warriors Big Three combining for 87 points and 22 assists against one of the most ferocious defenses in the league.

Jeremy Lin has been in the news a bit lately.  He too finally got to run the right plays with the right lineups in the right system, for a great coach.  It makes a difference.  Of course, the baying hounds of our great Bay Area media are now suggesting that the Warriors made a mistake letting Lin go. They absolutely did not (more on this below).

Because the Warriors have a couple of pretty good players themselves that can run pick and roll with David Lee at center. A couple of undersized off-guards by the names of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry.

Mark Jackson:  After the last game against the Thunder, the Bay Area media and the majority of Warriors fans wrote off the horrible loss by stating that the Thunder were out of the Warriors’ league, just a way better team.  And in the last few weeks we’ve begun hearing the inevitable drumbeat out of the fetid swamp that is the San Jose Mercury News sports page that the Warriors core is just not good enough.  That David Lee is overvalued. That Curry and Ellis can’t play together.  That this Warriors roster can’t go anywhere.

Baloney.

The problem with this Warriors team has nothing to do with Lee, Curry and Ellis.  It has to do with the GM, Joe Lacob, and the coach, Mark Jackson.

In my pocket-recap to the last Thunder game, I laid out the four main reasons why the Thunder made the Warriors look so bad.  If you take a glance at what I wrote, you will note that every single point that I made was addressed in this game.

1) I said that you need a spread four to beat the Thunder, and that Joe Lacob doesn’t believe in spread fours.

Nevertheless, once Biedrins left the court for good, Mark Jackson went small for the rest of the game, playing Dorell Wright at the spread four.

2) I said Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson didn’t understand that David Lee is a great center.

Behold, David Lee at center.

3) I said that Mark Jackson hung Stephen Curry out to dry, by forcing him to guard Westbrook, and refusing to help him with double teams.

In this game, Monta Ellis was put on Westbrook.  And in the second half, the Warriors began double-teaming him, forcing him to do what he absolutely hates to do, pass the ball.  Behold, the “all-star” point guard with 9 turnovers.

4)  Matchups. I said that Mark Jackson doesn’t understand them.

Did you see how fast the Thunder yanked Perkins off the court once David Lee started lighting him up?

Did you see how Ibaka only got 6 rebounds in this game, after getting 12 in the last, including 8 offensive rebounds?  Did you notice that the Warriors actually outrebounded the Thunder?

The Warriors have gotten especially clobbered on the defensive boards when playing big against teams that draw David Lee out of the lane. Playing small keeps David Lee under the basket.  And gives the Warriors something to compensate for their size disadvantage:  the quickness advantage.  Ellis 7 rbs. Curry 7 rbs.

I also wondered after the first Thunder game whether the Warriors’ starters were wondering if Mark Jackson actually tried to win the game. Well, there’s no doubt at all about this one, is there?  Jeremy Tyler’s butt was nailed to the pine. Dorell Wright played the entire second half. Lee played all but one minute.  Ellis and Curry got a couple minutes of rest, but not both at the same time.

A big step forward for Mark Jackson in this game.  Will it last?  I have my doubts, but let’s see.

One little quibble:  Why not bring Udoh in for Lee on defense on the Thunder’s last play?  Durant might have had a tougher look. (I have no doubt what Jackson’s answer would have been had he been asked this question:  ”David Lee deserved to be in. He earned the right.”)

Monta Ellis:  Monta has been forced to carry short-handed Warriors teams for long stretches over the last few years.  He frequently draws not just double-teams, but triple-teams.  And he occasionally has had bad turnover games as a result.

It turns out Russell Westbrook doesn’t handle double-teams too well himself.  The only difference is, there has never been a need for him to force his offense on this Thunder team.  As his backup, Eric Maynor, proved in last year’s playoffs.

So who is the better player, Monta Ellis or the “all-star” Westbrook? I’d take Monta any day.  He’s by far the more versatile scorer.  And he also happens to be far less selfish, and a much better passer.

Defense?  Read the scoreboard.

I know, I’m a homer.

Stephen Curry:  Guess what, Curry can run the pick and roll.

I’ll bet you Mike D’Antoni would give his left nut to have Curry as his point guard right now.  And if either he or Don Nelson had had Curry the last two years, there would be absolutely no controversy over whether Curry was actually a point guard.  None.

The controversy would be whether or not he was an all-star.

David Lee:  Too many highlight plays for me to mention.  I’m sure everyone knows what pick and roll is by now.  But does every one know what the high post is?

I have been stating ever since the trade that brought him here that David Lee is one of the best high post centers in the league.  You finally got to see why tonight.  The high post is where he got most of his 10 assists.  (This, by the way, was a very clever adjustment against the tremendous ball-hawking of the Thunder guards.  It was, in fact… point center!  Don Nelson would be proud.)

If you want to see what I mean by the high post, check out the first two plays of the game. And 9:45 3Q, that beautiful backdoor play to Monta. And Lee to Curry at 11:00 4Q.

The brilliant basketball minds on the staff of the Mercury News have been putting forth the proposition that the Warriors should have used their amnesty on David Lee.  And it seems that a fair number of the Warriors nation have been swallowing this whole.  What do you think?

I think they’re nuts.  I think that David Lee, when played in the right system, with the right supporting cast, is one of the very best big men in the NBA.  He is an incredible talent.

And I’ve thought that since day one.

The Nightmare:  I thought Udoh was very good in this game, despite his lack of rebounding.  His help defense on Westbrook and Durant was extraordinary.

Nevertheless, I think Mark Jackson was absolutely correct to go small in this game.

What I’m not sure of is whether or not Udoh could have spelled Lee at center for a few minutes, and taken over in the pick and roll and in the high post.  Udoh has gotten a few high post looks in the last several games, and looked OK.  How about the pick and roll?

I think he can do it, and I’d like to see it tried.  Although perhaps in less pressurized situations than the fourth quarter of this game.

Biedrins:  What can you say about this line?  I see all zeros, except for a 1 and a 5.

Maybe it was a good thing.

Jeremy Lin:  I have to insert a few words on Lin here, given all the furor over his last two performances.  New York is going nuts, and so are Warriors fans.

It’s nonsense.  I watched his last game, in which he actually exceeded his first statistically.  And what I learned is this:  Jeremy Lin is the same player he’s always been.  He can’t shoot.  He can’t go left.  In fact, he really struggles with his handle.  Most if not all of his 8 turnovers in his last game came not from trying to force passes ala Curry, but off his dribble, which almost never happens to Curry or other real point guards.  He’s got no midrange shots, no floater, and probably never will.  I know this because I watched him airball floaters for half an hour, unguarded, while practicing before a home game last year. Airball. There’s not much touch there.

He’s playing for a great coach, in a great system, with great pick and roll targets. This has happened before, with a couple of guys named Raymond Felton and Chris Duhon.

He’s also played against two teams with zero interior shot-blocking, the Nets and the Jazz.  And neither team scouted him, judging by how they failed to go under the picks, and force him to shoot.  And failed to force him left.  That will change.

Which is not to say Lin won’t continue to be fairly effective for the Knicks. I’m sure he will, running pick and roll with Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire. But I’ll lay 100 to 1 that he won’t be the Knicks starting point guard next year. Nor anyone else’s.

Jim Barnett:  With occasional interruptions for outbursts of “Shut up!”, I managed to leave the sound up while watching this game.

Which is why, in closing, I can bring you the great Jim Barnett’s one-sentence recap:

Regardless of the outcome, the Golden State Warriors made Oklahoma City play their game tonight.

49 Responses to Pick and Roll: Thunder 119 Warriors 116

  1. Was at the game last night and I gave a nod to Feltbot as I watched how effectively Lee. Monta and Curry ran the high post pick and roll. There is still a talent gap between a team like the Warriors and Thunder, and in both games I have watched in the past couple weeks at Oracle, there was a sense that the Thunder could and would raise their level just enough in the 4th quarter to pull it out.
    In stark contrast to the previous Thunder game, I was watching the Warriors play to THEIR level. Whether it’s the system, their mood, the position of the planets and stars or simply that OK had played an OT game in Portland the night before, the Warriors were playing with skills, sack and intelligence matching their abilities. Their “motor” matched the Thunder’s “motor” and in a game where the energy level was high throughout, the Warriors big 3 almost pulled out a win against the Thunder’s big 3.
    Some switch got turned on last night and I suspect it has to do with the system and substitutions Jackson employed against the Thunder. As a grateful but skeptical fan, I actually do hope that Jackson gets his player’s DNA and gives them an opportunity to play to their level. It’s like watching a different team when the switch is flicked. The Warriors are still missing something personnel-wise, but I would like to see them given a chance to play like they did last night. It’s beautiful basketball, with organic teamwork, played with energy and a type of “toughness” that goes beyond size and muscles. It’s fun to watch and I would like to see if it might bring home more wins than whatever systems the Warriors have been playing since Nelson left.

    That said, Kevin Durant is still Kevin Durant and while the first half was Monta’s, converting difficult shot after difficult shot – the second half was Durant’s, doing what he always does…efficiently, effectively, predictably…bringing home the win. That is a player.

  2. Seeing is believing.

    I’m getting better at this. I knew what you were going to say today, which Barnett quote you would pick.

    I hope they can now dump this first team/second team concept. My only question about last night’s game is if Thompson could have subbed more for Ellis or Curry, giving each more rest, as happened at the end.

    OK, trade time is approaching and the FO is still pondering the team’s identity and future. FB: what minor piece(s) would you add to this team that might have tipped the scales last night and made the team more competitive this season? And if we get a shot at something better, who would that be? It’s possible Lacob will see last night as a fluke and is still preparing to tear the team apart to do whoknowswhat.

    Mohammed had a very fine nine minutes off the bench. . . .

    • The Warriors needs are obvious: a real player in place of Biedrins, and a spread four. Since Lacob isn’t interested in doing anything less than a major deal, it seems useless to speculate. Prayer might be more in order.

  3. I have no problem with D.Lee playing center on offense, but not on defense. Udoh has to be on the court with him in the fourth quarter. Last night, he was not.

    The main reason that the Warriors lost last night is because Jackson did nothing to keep the Thunder from shooting 52% for the field. There is no reason for the Warriors to shoot 54% from the field and lose.

    As you correctly point out, Jackson should have clogged the lanes and at times double teamed both Durant and Westbrook in the first half, not just the second half.

    Playing D.Lee at center was a big reason the Warriors lost. His exemplary offense did not offset his lack of interior defense.

    The Warriors were down by 1 point going into the third quarter, Udoh was brought in and the team went up by six in little more than a minute or two. For some unexplainable reason, Lee replaced Udoh rather then D. Wright or some other Warrior. With Lee playing most of the fourth quarter at center defensively, the Warriors lost. This has happened in other games as well.

    If Jackson would have sacrificed some offense, by playing Udoh in place of D.Wright or Rush, and played McGuire more, I think that Warriors would have won.

    With Biedrins starting the Warriors were even at 16 to 16. Udoh came in and the Warriors immediately went up by 6 points. Udoh needs to start. He was plus 8 for the game.

    But, you are right. This is a good team that only needs to be tweaked and to have a coach who knows how to coach the team.

    McGuire needs to play more. His defense, in my opinion, will more than offset the offensive production of either D.Wright, Thompson, or even Rush, if one of them are kept on the bench and McGuire is inserted in the game.

    • Frank, the Thunder were playing Durant at the four. Which of Udoh or DLee would you have used to guard him?

    • McGuire came off the bench once in the first half but never made it into the game. He finally appeared on the floor in the last few minutes, guarded Westbrook once, and stole the ball. Makes you wonder what he could have accomplished if he’d been in there a lot more.

  4. I agree with your takes. I frequently do. However, there is something you didn’t quite say but I think you might be inferring and I’m going to disagree with that (if that makes any sense.) I still don’t think this core gets the Warriors over the hump. The reason, there isn’t a real Alpha Dog in this bunch. In the late fourth quarter our three top players tend, to my eye, to become passive, or unfocused, or too narrowly focused, or nervous, or something. Even Monta’s 48 pts were not of the attacking variety late in the game (where they definitely were early), Steph with his unforced errors on offense and defense, David passing up that elbow jumper at the end of the game. Passive, unfocused, un-confident, respectively. They are terrific complementary players but I don’t see overall greatness. In the final analysis I think we will need a big change in that core. At least one, if not two will have to go to make room for that elusive Alpha Dog unless we come up Yahtzee! in the draft. If and until then, I’ll be happy to be proven wrong as long as they are playing the right kind of basketball like last night.

    • YT:

      Barnett made the comment that the last 4-5 minutes the Warriors should have kept the game plan they played all game. Instead, the offense centered more on Ellis, often in iso. I won’t criticize Ellis for anything, though note he may have been tired the last minutes and maybe his magic had worn off. But he was following the plan, as were the others. And focusing on Ellis makes the other players passive, especially Curry, less effective, even error prone. I won’t criticize them either. They were following the plan as well.

      The last thing the team needs is an Alpha Dog. (Look what happened to NY when Melo went down.) It is a unit that can and needs to play as a full, active team, together.

    • I take your point YT. The Warriors have not shown a lot of confidence in end of game situations, and that may have something to do with the fact that they don’t have a clear cut leader like Durant or Pierce or Kobe. But there’s not a whole lot of those guys to go around, is there?

      Interestingly to me, it seems that Keith Smart and now Mark Jackson have bestowed the role of closer on Monta, while Don Nelson was far more inclined to Stephen Curry, even as a rookie. And I think I agree with Nellie (big surprise). Curry has had fantastic results with the ball in his hand.

      Now that it’s over of course, it’s easy to say that I would have liked for that last play to have been a pick and roll with Curry and Lee. But I want Curry taking the last shot. Especially if it’s going to be a three.

      And even Mark Jackson seemed to go that way in the last game, at least to close the second and third quarters (successfully).

      The problem with this is of course a political one. It might be impossible to persuade Monta of the efficacy of this choice. Particularly on 48 point nights. Which takes us back to your point.

      • F-Bot, you are right, there are not a lot of Alpha Dogs to go around but the champions and contenders have them, don’t they? Working backwards through the NBA Championships a few years: Dirk v Wade, Kobe v Pierce/KG, Kobe v Howard, Pierce/KG v Kobe, Duncan v Lebron, etc. I firmly believe our core needs one if there isn’t one there already. Completely agree that an end of game Curry/Lee pick and roll or even the Lee high-post action would be preferable as a way of having more attacking options at the end of the game. Great point about the “political” problem; it is time for Coach Jackson to earn his money and effectively communicate some hard truths to his players. In a metaphor I hope you’ll appreciate: If you are dealt OK but not great cards, you might want to see the Flop, or even the Turn but, if you don’t think you have a winning hand, you fold and start over. You don’t lose all your chips trying to make an OK hand a winning hand. I think I’ve seen the Flop with these three. I’m about ready for that next hand.

        • Wow, the nail has finally been hit on the head. A political problem is what holds the Warriors back. Monta or Steph in late game situations? FB: I agree with Nelson, give the ball to Steph.

          Monta has had his moments hitting game-winning shots over the years, but it seems like he hurries or waits too long much of the time. End of game situations have haunted this team all season.

  5. I would have played Udoh and McGuire in place of D.Wright and Rush, and had McGuire guard Durant. Maybe, with that line-up, the Thunder would not have shot 50% from the field in the fourth quarter.

    D.Wright scored only 1 point in the fourth, and Rush shot one for two, with a blocked shot.

  6. Udoh and Klay Thompson left out of the Rookie-Sophomore allstar game:

    http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/34756837

    I wonder what Mark Jackson is getting more heat from Joe Lacob for, losing, or not giving his inaugural rookie of the year candidate more PT?

  7. Another reason, I would not play D.Lee at center in the fourth quarter is that he only shoots 46% from the field when he plays center, a big drop from his FG% when he plays forward. Yesterday, in the fourth quarter, after having a remarkable game, it should be noted that D.Lee shot 0-2 from the field and turned the ball over twice.

    • Frank you sound like Lacob. The reason he MAY has a lower % is that he is shooting more outside. Feltie just got through saying when you have your center up high, the offense is faciliated for our great guards and 3 position. You would have to take their stats into account as well.If last night is a fair indication, I think we agree Monta and Steph greatly benefited!
      I was at the game last night, and that was by far the best effort by the Dubs all season. OKC is for real, and if we hang with them for 47:05 minutes, nothing to be ashamed of. L0ok at the +++.

    • A trade that would make us better:

      Curry to the Knicks for two-guard Landry Fields and center Josh Harrellson. This would allow Monta to move to PG and give us a young beast at center.

      Benefits:
      1) Monta did most of his 48-point damage while playing PG last night;
      2) Monta can defend PGs better than Curry; he guarded Westbrook most of last night;
      3) Get rid of Curry’s sophomoric turnovers and poor defense, which offset his sharp shooting;
      4) Gain Fields, a good-sized guy at 6-7, 215, to guard the twos that overmatch Monta; and also gain a guy with a great motor;
      5) Gain Harrellson, a 6-10, 275-pound beast who can rebound and score reasonably well — 5 points in 18-minutes per game for NY. Another guy with a great motor. And would you believe he’s 16-45 on threes (36%)?

      Deficits:
      1) Lose Curry’s shooting, but we have a ton of good 3-point shooters now. Actually, Curry’s 3-point percentage this season is down to 39.7, while Fields’ is at 28.4 this year, but is 36.7 for his career.
      2) Listen to the crying of all those fans who bought Curry jerseys thinking he’d be the next Steve Nash and don’t realize he’s the next Steve Novak.

      Two for the price of one — a two-guard and a big center. They’re all 23 years old. What’s not to like?

      • MWLX, one thing’s for sure, if you approach the Knicks and the first words out of your mouth are “We’ll give you Curry for….” they’ll probably extend their right hand and say “Deal!” before you even finish your sentence. LOL Remembering Curry’s draft night in NYC and the fans reaction to the Warriors picking Steph right in front of the Knicks you know they’d go bonkers over Curry coming to NY, so a huge PR coup for Knicks management if they could pull off any Curry-related trade.

        As for your or anyone elses trade suggestions I have to say I’m totally riding the fence on what the Warriors should or shouldn’t do between now and the trade deadline. I can’t say I’d disagree with a stand pat approach, where you’d play out the season with little or no changes (thereby missing the playoffs), hope your record lets you keep your first round pick, then combine what should be a very good young player with an offseason impactful free agent signing, the two moves hopefully elevating the team into perennial playoff contender mode.

        Then again, a big trade in the next month could prove to be just what the doctor ordered, depending of course on the logic and due diligence behind the move. Whatever, as a fan, I’m tired of going nowhere fast.

        • At this point, the Knicks would probably like to throw Baron Davis into any deal, since he’s been made expendable by Jeremy Lin.

          In the NBA-TV telecast of the Knicks-Wizards game tonight, Wiz color announcer Phil Chenier (Cal/Berkeley HS) said Lin had been getting the better of Davis in practice.

  8. All I am saying is that Udoh should be playing alongside D.Lee in crunch time, and not sitting on the bench.

  9. Mwlx: Monta is not a pg, Curry is going to be a much better player and pg ( IMO he already is by quite a bit), Harrellson is a stiff and KT is going to be better than Fields.

    • “Monta is not a pg…”

      Obviously, you didn’t watch the OKC game.

      Curry’s performance in the last 4 minutes:
      1) 3:45 – Dequan Cook nails a three as Curry is late to close out;
      2) 3:03 – Turnover: Curry leads a 5 on 4 break and throws a bad pass that’s intercepted;
      3) 2:33 – Curry throws an inbound pass that’s nearly stolen; Barnett calls it a “dangerous, dangerous pass.”
      4) 1:32 – Another turnover: Curry is called for traveling.

      During that time, OKC went on an 11-3 run. That’s your starting PG at work. Oh, that’s right. He’s going to be a much better player. I can hardly wait.

  10. NBA Today with Tim Legler.

    I enjoy listening to Legler. Articulate and knows the game. He had some interesting comments about Westbrook and OKC, partially stemming from last night’s Warriors game.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7554595

  11. One obvious take from reading this blog daily is the very lukewarm, at best, regard for Mark Jackson and his overall performance as Warriors head coach thus far. When plays or games go haywire it seems it’s always Jackson this or Jackson that. Fine, except for this question: How much coaching is Jackson actually doing compared to his lead assistant Mike Malone?

    If you were paying attention, when the Warriors huddled to go over their game-ending strategies vs OKC (down by 1, around 14 secs left) the guy doing all the talking and play-diagramming was Mike Malone. Supposedly the coach hired especially for his defensive expertise was coaching-up a Warriors team about to break for one final offensive sequence, and with the game on the line.

    With that said I think it’s fair to conclude that while Jackson is doing most of the talking, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s doing most of the coaching.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/730146-golden-state-warriors-hiring-mike-malone-as-assistant-reveals-a-lot

    • One possibility is that Lacob is trying out two head coaches, Jackson and Malone, preparing Malone to take over from Jackson when his contract ends, if Lacob decides he doesn’t work out. I think this speculation has been made elsewhere.

    • I noticed that as well. Malone is the guy with the clipboard diagramming plays, while Jackson just watches. I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen a similar situation.

    • It seems to me I have seen this elsewhere? The head coach calls the play, the assistant draws it up?

      • Probably insignificant – but I’m always hoping at the end of quarters or during key late game possessions when the W’s have timeouts – that the W’s coaches could swap offensive and defensive players much more often with our lineup. The “flow” coach thing is why not, and maybe overcoaching – but possessions matter. McGuire, Rush, and Udoh – key defensive subs.

  12. There were three stretches of the game in which David Lee was at center and neither Biedrins nor Udoh were on the court.

    34-26 to 35-29 = -2
    70-64 to 107-102 = -1
    107-104 to 116-117 = -4

    Hmm…..I make that three leads shrunk for a net -7.

    • Hello dr_john! Your point has merit, but for now I don’t accept your conclusion. First of all, Lee obviously should have been subbed out for Udoh for the last play of the first and fourth quarters — that’s -4 right there.

      Second, was the +/- of the group due to playing smallball with Lee at center, or the abject failure of power forward Dorell Wright to contain power forward Kevin Durant? DWright is very disappointing defensively — he has proven the furthest thing from a stopper imaginable. Contrast the job that rookie Kawhi Leonard did on Durant, linked above @6.

      I also remain dissatisfied with Jackson’s defensive schemes. Nellie forced Durant right, into traps, thus making Durant do what he is worst at: pull up going right. Jackson lets him go left at will, and never traps.

      But the biggest curiosity for me is why Jackson didn’t use Dominic McGuire on Durant. I think that could have been a game changer.

      There is no question that choosing to play Lee at center means you must get good defense from your wings. And when Durant is at four, you must get good defense from your four as well. Dom McGuire is not the spread four that DWright is, but when DW is failing so abjectly on defense, something must and should have been done: either a change in scheme or subbing for a stopper.

      Also, isn’t it possible that the conventional wisdom is correct, and Kevin Durant and the Thunder are just too good for this Warriors team? In which case, you must consider the possibility that the Warriors played a hell of a game with the right lineup.

      I have no doubt that the Warriors’ best lineup features Lee at center, and no doubt that that will become a lot more apparent against teams that don’t have the option of playing Kevin Durant at the four.

      • Just to add to my point about Dom McGuire: If you remember (or refer to popcorn machine), the Lee at center lineup had enormous success against Perkins at center and then Collison at center. It only began to falter when Brooks made the adjustment to Ibaka at center and Durant at the four. A terrific adjustment on Brooks’ part.

        That called for a counter-adjustment by Mark Jackson, imo, one that he failed to make. OK, you’re going small with Durant at the four? It’s time for the Dominator. Guess who has the biggest, toughest team on the floor now?

        • True – Against this Warriors lineup, Perkins can be run off the court. But why would you want to do that? I think OKC plays worse against most teams with Perkins on the floor. Perkins was probably acquired to play against select bigs such as the Lakers and Memphis. Haven’t watched much of Serge Ibaka – but he seems to be a monster if played at center.

  13. Feltbot,
    I couldn’t agree with you more about McGuire in that game. Since Durant was owning the 4th quarter, when McGuire did come into the game, I thought “great, finally someone who stands a chance against Durant”. IMO, Durant was having his way. I was wondering why Jackson didn’t go to him before.
    When he went on Westbrook, I thought it was a little strange. Turned out briefly well, but then back to the bench McGuire went.

    What I see in Durant, unlike Westbrook, is he’s becoming Kobe-like as a closer. He can score when he wants. Therefore, I saw Durant coast on the offensive end through 2.5 quarters. When it was time to get to work, he did. McGuire didn’t have to play 40 minutes against Durant, but maybe 12…or 15? Seemed and seems a no-brainer to me.

  14. best game of the season in the way our offense ran for 45 or so minutes. and creating turnovers for pushing the tempo (double team, help defense).
    agree on mcguire. she should have been put on durant middle fourth quarter or a bit later.

    not warrior related (because 12 minutes instead of 2 + kills my already decreased amount of sleep):

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/36096/hoopidea-more-basketball-in-crunch-time

  15. “Here I am in the middle of a fairy tale, with the Clippers playing like champions, only to stumble across a stereotypical selfish athlete hell-bent on making a fool of himself.”

    That’s vintage TJ Simers as he interviews Mo Williams. This is not pretty. LOL

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-simers-clippers-20120209,0,5994992,full.column

    • @Felt #17

      Felt, this goes back to my question on who’s doing what and how much, coaching-wise?

      I think this team is being “coached by committee” maybe moreso than any other team, given the inexperience of their head coach. And defensively? There’s little doubt IMO that Malone is calling most of the shots (sets, matchups, rotations, etc) given his resume/experience/expertise relative to Jackson.

      Add in the sight of Malone coaching-up the offense at the end of the OKC game the other night and the thought of MJ being more of a figurehead head coach at this early stage of his coaching career seems more and more likely.

      Everything considered, while calling out Mark Jackson seems to be the daily “blog du jour” it’s probably more accurate to criticize (or praise) the Warriors team……of coaches.

  16. Jerry West hasn’t been perfect in his player evaluations over the years but he definitely got Klay Thompson right.

    “So far this season, Klay Thompson has taken 86 jump shots. That makes up 80.4 percent of his total offensive possessions, according to Synergy Sports. For most players, that’s probably too much, but it’s easier to accept from a shooter like Thompson, who knocks down 48.8 percent of his jump shots. He scores 1.233 points per possession on jumpers, which is in the top 3 percent of all NBA players. Even though Thompson spots up on most of his shots, he isn’t just standing around and waiting for his teammates to find him. Thompson is very good at moving without the basketball.

    Thompson really knows how to create passing lanes for his teammates. He slides into position on the perimeter in a way that shortens the distance of his teammates’ passes to him while also giving him enough separation from his defender to get a shot off. As well as he’s shooting, more looks for Thompson would probably mean more points and more wins for the Golden State Warriors.”

    Amen.

    • Jerry West has a better track record than anyone the Warriors have ever employed.

      Feltbot still thinks the Warriors were stupid to draft Klay Thompson. The guy can flat out shoot.

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